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Jennifer S., here….
Firstly, this is my first real blog post; inspired by the fact that I finally got to view Gods of Egypt. This was, like many Egyptian Mythology based movies were, a movie that I was looking forward to finally viewing. I’m uncertain as to why I decided this was the topic I wanted to delve back into writing for, but here it is. I feel two ways about it. I’m going to express initially that I enjoyed it from an objective standpoint, it was fun and colorful and full of some interesting effect that got them right as often as they got them wrong… Giant Heads… #BobbleGods. Now I’m going to express my displeasure, as anyone who has a passing interest in actual mythology realizes, it’s terrible. The story is anyway, but the plotline is okay… and personally, I feel the message was all wrong about the afterworld.
I’m going to concentrate first on one glaringly obvious theme… Gods/Goddesses; personalities and comparison of the storyline to what I recall from having viewed it once… which is probably, despite my affection for Gerard Butler, the only time I’ll see the whole thing…because despite my displeasure I might, in the future, watch a few scenes if the timing for it is right.
RA: The Sun God, played rather daringly and dashingly by Geoffrey Rush. I really appreciated his role as the Protector of the Realm he created. This character they got mostly right. His attitude, demeanor and presence were carried well and I liked him though I am uncertain as to how even a Voltron like collection of God powers would have defeated him… and Apophis, wtf is that? Chaos? The Nothing perhaps? The Giant worm from Dune? In my mind, I often imagined Ra’s sail across the heavenly seas above us as a kind of “it’s a small world” boat ride (which in retrospect wouldn’t sell many tickets?). He’d traverse the sky complete with fans and fruits and general nectars of whatever he deigned to consume in his awesome benevolence interrupted briefly by Apep who he dealt with as quickly and easily as a cat over a serpent upon a ship sailing the highest seas; only to rest again… and then be swallowed gently in the evening by Nut; his ex-wife who had a thing for Geb the Earth God, but allowed Ra’s passage to the underworld through her belly in sacrifice allowing Night to descend. I want to say that that whole part of the mythology could be a whole different voyage into what it means to love and to sacrifice… Anyway, in my opinion; to completely set Ra as his own without a female counterpart alludes to the conclusion that the female Goddesses, portrayed briefly and weakly (plotwise) were more of a romantic afterthought and not the actual end all be all to the balance of the turning of the world.
Anubis: The God of the Rights of Passage through the UnderWorld. Personally, I thought he looked pretty scary, which was cool. I liked that he came to get the human female himself and walked a large party all the way to the portal… but I kind of always saw the scales as his place of power and to one side the Jackal headed Goddess Anput, and to the other his daughter Kebechet. Who you kind of see later as Set’s groupies in the form of some very vicious giant cobra riding warrior women…which, was actually pretty cool… in concept but they were portrayed as inept which kind of bummed me out. Returning to the Underworld, who the hell were those giant statues who seemed to be money hungry anyway? What need has Gods for treasure? The biggest problem I have with the whole plot is how treasure centered it was. It’s a scale that doesn’t weigh gold… it weighs hearts and the hearts of men are weighed down by evil deeds… Zaya, tag-team female romantic lead, was all the good things that a good Gods/desses fearing slave girl should be and if they had to weigh something other than hearts, her smile alone would have tipped the scales in her favor. One thing that you don’t see is that Anubis actually has quite a saucy story to his birth as well.
Osiris and Isis: This particular story happened in such a way that would make it to where the entire plotline comes somewhere out of Back to the Future. Set is Osiris’ brother, yes and yes, Set did kill his brother… this is where they should really go into a completely different plot for a different movie as well because it gets pretty close to Mary Shelley. Technically Horus hadn’t been conceived before Set murdered his brother for power but Isis was not so easily distracted from the necessity for an heir and tracked down every piece of her beloved husband. She patched him back together and brought him back to life in order to become impregnated with Horus who would take over for Osiris once he took over the UnderWorld and set Anubis to the scales. Isis the daughter of Geb and Nut, mentioned above was imbued with the powers of life and magic. Which is quite fortunate because I think a Nile crocodile must have consumed her dead husband’s penis because that was the only part she could find… dagnabbit…though, why she had to turn into a bird to use Thoth’s magic golden dildo, we may never know… what we do know is that Horus was too old to be Osiris’ child so Set’s taunting in the movie regarding, “who’s your daddy”, is made much funnier.
Nephythys: She was only briefly mentioned and brutalized by her ex-husband when he tore her wings off in order to meld them to himself…Her matronly assistance lasted longer than her appearance which often the way things go when your power lies within the home… of the dead… Anyway, there’s not really much I can say about her in this article other than she had pretty wings and I want her birdy boat for magical moonbow lit night rides. What is interesting about her portrayal was that she kind of appeared more like an Earth Goddess than a Goddess of the Underworld but, whatevs.
Thoth: This character was by far my favorite for what to me are obvious reasons that I won’t go into but nevertheless suffice to say that I was pleased. The only aspect that I have to complain about was how they used bits and pieces of the Gods and Goddesses like potato heads and that became the crux of the solution. I was very amused with the interaction with the Sphynx though why Set has a labyrinth in the desert that it guards is beyond me because I thought it lived in Thebes. In any case, the situation made me laugh and I think that honestly, Thoth would have been less arrogant and more aware throughout the endeavor… which I think he would have embraced as a welcome adventure from scrolls, though technically he should be reading them on a solar sailboat but I could be mistaken. Perhaps his library is a timeshare. Also, they could have played up his interest in music or public speaking but I think I’m getting a little lost here and need to stop meandering around though… a little campfire song by Bek would have been cool, he could have played something like “devil’s haircut” because he was always just barely surviving the trials that Gods couldn’t achieve.
Hathor: The first thing that pops into my head when I hear of this warm and loving Goddess is BoobyCowGoddess…and I mean that in the nicest and most appreciative ways that I could possibly mean the phrase. Her story is one of my favorites, but in the movie … I kind of felt like she was a bit misrepresented. I mean she may have been the Goddess of Love, or some form thereof because she kind of tripled as Ra’s Wife/Mother/Daughter and I do recall a certain myth where she performs her role as a protector with a well-timed wardrobe malfunction but there is a side to her that Set only saw in the bedroom. Apparently Hathor is a shapeshifter and when enraged takes the form of a bloodthirsty lion Goddess by the name of Sekhmet who also has quite a fondness for beer, which incidentally calms her down and turns her back into a bovine happy to tend trees and as shown in the movie; fall to her knees. I think that they could have treated her much better as a character but technically I can see how sharing a bed with that form of Set would be preferable to the dungeons he would have devised… oh wait, same thing? Who knows… Suddenly feeling kind of jealous of Hathor.
Set: Speaking of the rather pleasingly gruff portrayal of Set, he kind of impressed me as a super Evil Spartan King, which is good considering that’s exactly what he was supposed to be. I kind of always looked at this particular God as a kind of Angry God but really… why wouldn’t he be? Technically, isn’t he already on the sunboat helping to repel the chaos worm? I guess he did have some issues reproducing but I’m not sure if that was Ra’s doing or his own. Nephythys is Isis’ twin and they say that she needed a little glamour to get Set to commit in the bedroom which is how Anubis came to be, or so they tell me. Which is kind of neither here nor there but if you had to fight a giant serpent every day you’d probably be a little miffed that the twin you wanted went to the bright brother who had it easy… jealousy, classic and deadly but apparently not as interesting as just taking over everything just so that the serpent can devour everything. Perhaps he’s just lazy, what would he have to rule over or lord his power over when there is no one left to bully?
Horus: The part of the plot line that allowed me to enjoy this movie rather than brooding on the butchering of myth, was the mental maturing that we were allowed to witness within his character. He’s arrogant and Godlike and self-centered and thinks of humans like ants, to him they kind of are which was also interesting because Gods are usually portrayed as larger than humans but not in such a tactile manner…um, any openings for bathers in the royal spa? Horus on the whole was exactly what he was supposed to be; the gallant hero who gets love and finds love and is super strong and super shiny.
The one thing that keeps creation moving is creation itself. Is it really just one guy who’s really good with his hands who’s in love with a naïve dead slave girl that teaches God that he needs us? Or is it a terrible rendition of trying to place money at the center of what could have been a really decent telling of real love, if it exists. All the movie really comes down to is the pursuit of all things centered around the pursuit of treasure… whether it was in the form of a pretty Goddess, a green garden or a shiny bauble to place on the scales for a human that would have kept Hathor from being raped by demons on the regular. Maybe that’s why Set actually wanted the chaos serpent to consume everything… he realized it was too high maintenance and didn’t want to keep up the responsibilities. Either way, technically it wouldn’t have happened this way because Horus would have had to have borrowed Doc Brown’s machine to be there and Bek wouldn’t have cared to help him get his eyes back if he knew that Zaya never needed treasure to enter the underworld.